INVASION OF PRIVACY: Town Supervisor Will Wadsworth displays lifelong bond to Geneseo

Town Supervisor Will Wadsworth is undeniably dedicated to Geneseo.

Wadsworth grew up in the town of Geneseo and has spent most of his 47 years here. Aside from local government, Wadsworth has an array of interests and originally considered being both a farmer and an artist, studying agriculture at SUNY Canton and completing a foundational year at the Philadelphia College of Art.

"I wanted to answer the question of whether or not I wanted to be an artist," said Wadsworth. "I liked it, but I didn't feel a passion for it."

From there, Wadsworth returned to Geneseo and worked as a farmer, as well as in retail and corporate jobs.

His attention, however, shifted towards local politics in 2003, when he became part of a committee to rewrite a law that stated a property in Geneseo could be rented out to a maximum of four people.

"This law discriminated against college students and hurt landlords," explained Wadsworth. Wadsworth formed a group of landlords, called the Geneseo Rental Housing Association, to discuss problems with the current law.

"We simply wanted to communicate our feelings as a larger group of citizens," he said. "Eventually, we had to sue the village, and we won."

This experience exposed the inner workings of local government to Wadsworth. By gaining this experience, he decided to become involved.

"I had a problem with people in power wanting to take power away from others," he said.

Wadsworth ran for town supervisor this past November, replacing previous supervisor Wes Kennison.

"I'm honored to serve the community," he said of his position. "In my career, I've learned how to communicate and listen. This position involves a lot of listening and figuring things out."

Wadsworth noted that he enjoys both the town and county component of the job. In Livingston County, there are 17 town supervisors that work together to balance the interests of local communities with the county as a whole.

He is married to Louise Wadsworth, who directs the Livingston and Wyoming Counties Alliance for Business Growth, and has two children, both of whom are in college.

In his spare time, he maintains an interest in art, particularly oil painting. He was inspired by the vast amounts of art he encountered on a recent visit to Italy.

"To study a landscape long enough to convey the same message it has for you to a viewer is what I love to do," he said. Wadsworth is also involved with the Geneseo Rotary Club.

As for the future of Geneseo, Wadsworth aims to use his time as town supervisor to promote communication within the village.

"Prior to this, the tone of communication has gotten tense, and factions over development and other issues have caused separation," he said. "I want to bring down that tone."

Wadsworth also mentioned a desire to expand relations between the college and village populations.

"There's a huge opportunity with the college, to find ways to connect with students," said Wadsworth, citing LIVE magazine as an example. The student-produced magazine promotes local businesses and attractions. "We're looking for more ways to keep opening doors between the two communities."